France and US Propose Ban on Private Financing for Coal-Fired Plants at COP28

France and US Propose Ban on Private Financing for Coal-Fired Plants at COP28

In a move that could heighten tensions at the upcoming COP28 summit, France, with support from the United States, is set to propose the “New Coal Exclusion Policy.” This initiative aims to cease private financing for coal-based power plants, revealing a growing divide among nations on addressing climate change.

French Minister of State for Development, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, conveyed the plan to India, emphasizing the need to dry up private funding for coal power, aligning with President Emmanuel Macron’s focus during COP28. The proposal suggests the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) establish coal-exit standards for private finance firms.

While the U.S., European Union, and Canada advocate for expediting coal phase-outs, India and China resist any attempt to impede the construction of coal-fired power stations vital for their energy needs. The proposal sheds light on concerns over the 490 gigawatts of new coal capacity in the pipeline, primarily in India and China, constituting one-fifth of the global capacity.

Rick Duke, Deputy U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change, highlighted the urgency for a global power sector transition, citing approximately 500 gigawatts of new coal-fired power plants globally. The plan also addresses the challenge of evolving emissions abatement technologies for developing countries.

India, where 73% of electricity is coal-generated, resists setting a deadline for a fossil fuel phase-out at COP28, asserting coal as a primary energy source for decades to come. Instead, it may urge developed nations to aim for carbon negativity by 2050, emphasizing a multifaceted approach to emission reduction.

The proposed ban on private financing for coal power plants represents a significant stride forward in the global effort to combat climate change. It signifies a departure from business-as-usual and a recognition that bold, decisive action is necessary to safeguard the health of our planet and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

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